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Lützerath bleibt! – At the edge of the 1.5°C frontier

Documented by Dennis Schüpf

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Dennis Schüpf is a freelance documentary photographer and a PhD candidate with the German Institute for Sustainability & Development (IDOS ), doing research on environmental justice issues related to climate change adaptation. In his photographic work he is concerned with the attempt to visualize socio-natures, revealing power relations that form contested landscapes of environmental conflict. In his pictures these landscapes appear to be deeply inscribed in the identities of people struggling for their livelihoods in the face of natural resource exploitation. He has a master’s degree in International Development Studies and a strong interest in combining visual storytelling with environmental re-search.

Protesters in front of Lützerath, dredger in the background. Photo part of the report

¿What's going on in Lützerath?

The dismantling of the village of Lützerath in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is about to be demolished for lignite mining, began on Wednesday.With the Garzweiler open-cast mine being Europe’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, climate activists occupied Lützerath to prevent an eviction of the place and further dredging. While the energy company RWE claims to need additional coal resources to compensate for the energy deficit caused by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, civil society, protesters, and activist fight to defend the 1.5°C frontier agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.

This photostory, hence, depicts the tension and friction of the ongoing contestation sparking a global debate on climate justice right at the heart of shifting geopolitical relations. Having said this, an emphasis lies in particular on the two frontlines defending diverging perspectives and discourses related two the coal mining: climate activists, protesters & civil society vs. police (state), RWE company and an employed private security company.

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Hired security forces build a frontline at the edge of the Tagebau Garzweiler II in front of the RWE dredger.

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View through the Greenpeace containers on police vehicles building a blockade

Full Gallery - Double click to see the images

In the next issue of February, KörperMagazine will develop a review article on this situation and current climate justice.

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